3 Products Beauty Insiders Use
Whenever my issues of Vanity Fair or Harper’s Bazaar arrive (yes, I do still subscribe to print magazines), the first columns I flip to are My Stuff and 24 Hours With respectively. These popular pieces entreat bold-faced types (actresses, fashion designers, socialites) to dish on what fashion, food, fitness, and, of course, beauty products they use.
I also regularly check out a handful of fashion blogs—my current favorite is Le Catch by former editor Marlien Rentmeester—and I follow all my beauty editor friends on social media. My goal: to find out what women with money, access—and motivation—use and why. I assume you’re reading this blog for much the same reason.
The desire to seek advice from women with insider status makes sense. It’s efficient, saving us both time and money. MediumBlonde was born largely because so many friends and acquaintances asked me for my recommendations and informed opinion. It’s also why I started the series What Works—to hear from in-the-know beauty industry veterans—as well as Spend or Skip?, to direct you to products worth every penny and help you steer clear of those that overpromise.
And it’s why I’m starting this new series, Products Beauty Insiders Use. Even though I’ve been covering the beauty industry for more than two decades, I don’t claim to be omniscient—I still pick up product tips from others too! So here are some I recently swiped from other insiders (and think you'll like too)...
Cle de Peau Beaute Bamboo Lipstick If you, like me, are on an eternal hunt for the perfect nude lipstick (beige but not too; creamy but not runny; opaque but not chalky), this may be it. I was turned on to this pinky-nude color while interviewing the three founders of the new stripe-centric fashion collection, La Ligne NYC. All three of them (two former Vogue fashion editors and one former fashion executive for rag & bone) said this shade was the perfect daily neutral. I agree. It’s easy to wear, comfortable, and goes with everything. Like a great pair of jeans. One caveat: The founders of La Ligne: Meredith Melling, Valerie Macauley, and Molly Howard, are all blondish with light-to-medium skin tones. So am I. Thus, I think this shade will work well for most fair to medium-toned women (with any hair color). But if your skin is darker, it may disappear on your lips.
Krigler Pleasure Gardenia 79 Perfume This gorgeous floral is a heady mix of jasmine, gardenia, vanilla and mimosa that develops a musky kick as the fragrance dries on your skin. I first discovered the scent because a good friend (and French beauty publicist) wears this and smells divine; people stop her constantly to ask what she’s wearing. It’s that good. The scent was originally created by Albert Krigler, founder of the Krigler family fragrance house, in 1879 for his fiancée. He was so pleased with the result, he decided to sell it—and it’s been one of the brand’s best-sellers for well over a century. Talk about a classic. Note: This scent is a bit pricey ($255/50 mL), so I recommend starting with a deluxe sample ($19/2 mL) to make sure you love it as much as I do. It also comes in a wallet-friendlier candle ($105).
Beauty Rx Triple Vitamin C Serum I'm a fan of vitamin C serums—in theory. They've been shown to brighten dull skin, fade sun damage, and protect against free-radical damage. But I have had little success over the years finding a formula that agrees with my skin (and me): Too often they sting, irritate, smell bad, feel sticky, or make me breakout. But this new(ish) formulation from NYC dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD, goes on like water. Truly. I have been able to tolerate it from day one. I owe the introduction to Didi Gluck, beauty director at Shape Magazine (and a dear friend who I wrote about here), who tried it before I did and declared it revolutionary when it comes to evening out and brightening sun-damaged skin.